What's new in Dreamweaver CS4?

Let's look at some of the new features we can expect to see in Dreamweaver CS4.

A new and improved version of Dreamweaver is coming out soon that is set to simplify Web development even further. The user interface has been enhanced to provide better integration with other Creative Suite 4 components such as Photoshop, Fireworks and Flash. I particularly liked the new vertical split Code View.

But in addition to the interface enhancements, there are a bunch of other interesting features worth mentioning.

Live View

You no longer have to save your work to preview the changes. Dreamweaver makes use of WebKit to render your documents just like a regular browser would. This allows you to make changes to your code and see the results instantly.

With LiveCode you can view the code generated from a dynamic state, such as hovering and if you'd like to stop and review the code at any time, you can freeze your page.

Related Files

All the different files (eg, CSS, JavaScript, PHP) your Web page is comprised of will appear on the bar above your document. You can just click on a file and edit it in Code View, while viewing the changes to the main document in Design View.

Code Navigator

Code Navigator, is a pop-up window, activated by clicking in Code View or Design View that displays links to the CSS code associated with your selection.

CSS best practices

The properties panel now contains a new CSS tab that displays the styles for your current selection and all the other relevant CSS rules. Hovering over any property will display an explanation of CSS principles.

You can also create new CSS rules in the Properties panel and control the specificity of your rules.

Code hinting

Better support for JavaScript core objects and primitive data types, as well as syntax error detection lets you code more efficiently. Even parameters, class constructors and objects get updated instantly as you are making changes to the code.

Since the new Dreamweaver supports JavaScript frameworks like jQuery, Prototype and Spry, code hinting also applies when you attach one of these external files.

HTML data sets

Spry Data Set now also supports HTML as a data source. You can import data in HTML format (eg, an unordered list, a table or a series of divs) and add it to a dynamic table on the page.

AIR support

Support for Adobe AIR lets you develop desktop apps with your Dreamweaver resources as well as preview them.

Other features include integration with Subversion, a versioning control system, and Photoshop Smart Objects that allow you to update your Dreamweaver graphics easier.

There is also an online service available for Dreamweaver CS4 called Share My Screen, which lets you collaborate with people over the Web, by displaying your desktop to them as you work.

Dreamweaver CS4 extends Web design and development capabilities and lets you build better websites, more efficiently. The new collaboration component adds a new dimension and makes the whole process more interactive.